An Example Of Good Writing
Zinsser's essay on Simplicity is an example of good writing for
many reasons. The main topic in his essay is clutter. Throughout the
essay he not only tells us why this is a problem, but he shows us through
many detailed examples. The essay was written so that anyone who reads
it could understand it. He does not use complex words that often tend to
loose a reader. Zinsser asks questions throughout the essay that cause the
reader to think and feel as though he is a part of the essay. The whole
essay gives the reader a positive outlook on writing.
Clutter is all the unnecessary words that are added to a sentence.
When a sentence becomes cluttered it tends to bore and confuse the
reader. Zinsser points out that the secret of good writing is to strip the
sentence of all unnecessary words. When Zinsser is proving this point in
his essay he uses the example of the president of a major university
writing a very unclear letter to state a problem
the school was experiencing. Zinsser translates the letter to read the
actual message that everyone can understand.
The way Zinsser writes the essay it is easy to understand. He uses
everyday words not dictionary words. No one wants to read an essay that
every other word they have to stop and go look it up because they do not
know the meaning. This causes the reader to become frustrated and they
also tend to loose interest. There are too many other options presented to
people today that already stray them away from reading.
By asking questions in the essay it keeps the readers attention. In
the essay Zinsser asks, "Who is this elusive creature, the reader?" That
question causes the people reading to stop and think, could he be talking
about me? Now he has captured the readers full attention, so they read on
to find the answer.
Throughout Zinsser's essay he makes many suggestions to the
reader in which he can better his own writing. This makes the reader go
away with a good feeling. Now the reader knows what to do to get rid of
the clutter in his writing. This makes the reader realize that he did not
waste his time by reading the essay, but he actually learned
The style of writing Zinsser has is clear. He walks the reader
through what he is saying by showing them. This is important to a reader
because it shows them that the writer cares. At the end of the essay
Zinsser lets everyone know that writing is hard work but with time and
many revisions it gets better. That makes the essay complete because it
tells everyone there is always hope.